Summer is the perfect time to get outside and focus on improving your wellness for spirit, mind, and body.
Though a healthy lifestyle should be a year-round thing, the pressure for a better body is on high during the summer, with all of the time we spend in tank tops and bathing suits. We’re all on the go much more in the summer and considering the vacations and weekend getaways that inevitably happen, below are some tips and suggestions for a healthy, more fit you!
Use your body weight. You need nothing else besides your own body weight to get great results. The push-up, for example, a very simple exercise performed with your own body weight will help you sculpt sexy summer shoulders and a nice firm midsection.
Pick up the pace! No matter where you are, you can squeeze in some extra cardio. Walk at a faster pace while breathing deeper to increase your heart rate.
Carry a water bottle. No matter where you go or what you do, bring water with you. Our bodies can misread being hydrated for being hungry, leading to overconsumption and weight gain. Also, when traveling on planes or to higher altitudes in general, the amount of oxygen in the air decreases equating to dryer air and reduced body hydration. This can leave you with unhealthy food cravings, headaches, and poor body awareness from fatigue. To be more alert and make more right food choices, drink more water! Carry a water bottle wherever you go.
Be food prepared! No matter where we are, we’re often tempted to “grab and go,” especially when traveling. Unfortunately, most ready-to-go snacks are calorie-packed and nutrient deprived. Save yourself the extra calories and pack some yummy granola bars, fruits, and/or nuts in your carry-on bag so you’re prepared to fight the urge of the grab-and-go pastry.
No time? No problem! More intensity! Even 20 minutes will get you into the zone of fat-blasting and muscle building if you maximize your effort. The goal of a short workout should be to work out at your personal intensity max. When you feel like it’s time to stop, try pushing for 10 more reps to maximize the hormonal response from your workout. Do this for at least 20 minutes targeting your upper, middle, and lower body with pushups, planks, crunches, and burpees, and you’ve got a complete workout!
Keep a food log. Recording what you eat is one of the best ways to stay on track. Make it easy for yourself and download an app (my favorite is Lose It!) to keep track of your daily intake no matter where you are. Your goal should be smaller meals, more often.
Buddy up! Accountability is everything. Having a partner keeps you accountable and makes diet and fitness goals more fun! Not only have you set yourself up for success with buddy system accountability, but you now have someone to share your excitement with when you hit your goals!
Shop the farmer’s market for fresh produce. If your food can survive nuclear fallout, you shouldn’t be putting it in your body. The less time your food can survive on the supermarket shelf, the better it is for you. Fresh fruits and vegetables don’t last if a box of Wheat Thins and that’s a good thing! Vitamins and minerals that are found in darker fruits and vegetables are what you need to keep your body healthy. Pick up fresh produce wherever possible.
Find stairs! Climbing stairs is incredibly effective cardio and lower body sculpting workout, and you can normally find staircases somewhere in the vicinity of a park or beach.
Use water bottles as dumbbells. You get the dual benefits of resistance training and hydration, both critical during the summer. Water bottles can be used for several toning exercises such as triceps kickbacks, arm circles, and overhead presses, and can also add resistance to lunges and squats.
Pack an elastic band in your suitcase. They’re light, take up very little space in your bag, and can provide several options for toning and resistance training.
Swim! When it’s time to cool down from the sun, create a challenge for yourself and see how long you can keep your feet off the ground treading water. Try three rounds and attempt to last a little longer each time.
Engage the family. Part of the beauty of summer is family bonding and finding fun ways to incorporate fitness can also teach kids the value of staying active. Create a fun obstacle course for the whole family to participate in, either as individual competitors or as teams. Let the kids help you come up with the obstacles, which can be done at the park, the beach, or in the backyard. Add in some long jumps or something to jump over, some cones/stones to zig-zag around, or even simple hopscotch.
Walk during airport delays/downtime. If you are traveling by air and you have a delay or extra time before boarding, take a lap around the airport and browse the shops in your terminal. You can pick up a gift for your loved ones and burn some calories while tugging along your luggage.
Hit the sand. Summer traveling involves some fun in the sun and if you’re lucky the beach! Challenge yourself by working out in the sand. Exercising in the sand provides an excellent training environment and in certain aspects works the body a lot harder than using a hard, flat surface.
Drink tons of water. Anywhere, everywhere, any time. Drinking water and staying hydrated can help fight jetlag, it can amp up your energy, and can also prevent heat exposure and heat exhaustion during the summer.
Have a great summer for a healthy, and more fit you!